The second annual Before I Die Festival, a two-week event designed to get the living to talk about dying, will start this Tuesday and extend until the end of April.
Activities include a film screening of the documentary “Suiting Dennis,” a picnic at Rose Hill Cemetery, an "Obits and Bucket Lists" writing workshop and discussions allowing people to talk about death, with death and dying educator Kel McBride coordinating the festival.
“I’m hoping that people get a little bit more aware of the reality that, hey, we’re all gonna die and that they will become more aware of what they want to happen with their own death and communicate that with other people,” McBride said. “The more comfortable we are with our death, the more fully we can live.”
Another event is "Do It Day," which takes place from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 28 at Dimension Mill, a Bloomington event space located at 642 N. Madison St.
This event was created to help people clearly define and write down their afterlife plans. This planning includes looking at health care options and creating a personal memorial service.
McBride said that the event is for people who believe they have so much more time left that creating a death plan is not on their radar.
“Do It Day is a chance to get together a plan of what you want to have happen when you die even though you don’t think you’re about to die,” she said.
It’s important for young people over the age of 18 to complete a plan like this because one in four die before reaching the age of 65, said McBride.
“When people die at a younger age, that plan being in place has even more value,” McBride said.
McBride said people should attend multiple events because it allows them to more fully participate in the conversation.
“To me, there’s a few things in life that are extremely important, and how we live and how we die are at the top of the list,” she said. “And I would encourage everyone to do both of those things in an educated, informed and loving way.”